Animal Farm: An Analysis

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‘Animal Farm’ is a novel based on the Russian Revolution, about a group of animals wanting to rebel against man. Snowball a smart, fair and strong leader gets ruled over by Napoleon, an unfair and selfish leader. This was the first error in the rebellion. Snowball would have defiantly made a better leader than Napoleon. The reasons for this are that he educated the animals, had future economic plans and knew how to keep a fair and smart community.

Snowball genuinely believes in Old Major's message of animal equality and shared sacrifice for shared gain, and so his ideas represent an attempt to create an equally working farm. Although he shares the early luxuries of the pigs, such as the milk and apples which are kept from the other animals, he tries to make things better for the other animals with technological advances like the windmill.

Napoleon on the other hand was a quite a contrary image, he was selfish cruel and corrupt. He would think of his and the pigs interest first and then that of the other animals and the farm. His way of ruling was inequality, completely contrary to the teachings of the Old Major and the Seven Commandments. Napoleon can be equated to Napoleon Bonaparte for his high ambition and his rule by fear and force.

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This political satire gives insight into two types of leadership; the democratic, Snowball, and the narcissist, Napoleon. They were both leaders of the revolution that happened at the farm in the beginning of the story. Napoleon is seen as the quite one who spoke rarely and only when absolutely required. Snowball on the other hand was a charmer and was able to capture the attention of the crowd with his words. He was full of new ideas to improve the way of life in the farm. As history has proven a narcissist leader, for example Adolf Hitler, is never a good leader. For someone to become a good leader the person has to care about all of the people he is representing but when someone only cares about themselves they will become corrupt and soon their ruling will end terribly.

Snowball was devoted to the commandments and encouraged the animals to follow it to the dot. He tries methods to improve the way the animals lived by starting various clubs and trying to teach the animals to read and write. Napoleon on the other hand just adopts a few pups and teaches them on private. No one in the farm knows what he is up to. A very important factor in their leadership of the farm was that they never agreed with each other. Whenever, Snowball came out with his elaborate schemes to improve farm life Napoleon stood against it. However, most of the time Snowball was able to win over the support of the animals with his charismatic personality and play with words. He was able to win them over with comforting talk and some amount of reasoning. He tried to get the animals involved in the decision making through a voting system and thus had a more participative approach to running the farm.

Napoleon on the other hand preferred to dictate and direct things. He was not good at getting the animals on his side with his talk. Because he knew that he would not be in leadership of the farm will Snowball was around he got rid of Snowball. He uses another pig called Squealer to speak on his behalf and mislead the animals into believing that everything Snowball did was harmful. Squealer was also used to tell great tales about Napoleon. Napoleon’s autocratic style of leadership, with lies and tales leading the farm, leave the animals confused. However, they carry on with their work more passionately than ever. He is a narcissist who makes the animals work mainly for his own benefit.

When a comparison is made between the leadership of these two pigs Snowball comes out as a democratic leader while Napoleon comes out as a dictator. Snowball came out with good ideas and always presented it to the animals for a vote. He is a leader who is able to raise the entire group, including himself, into higher levels of morality, motivation and motives. He raised the motivational level of the farm animals with his inspiring speeches and led them to work and fight for liberty and the betterment of the farm in which he too actively participated. On the other hand Napoleon was corrupt and with false claims he forced his decisions on the animals. There was no voting or any suggestions taken from the animals. They were led to believe that everything that was happening was for their own good and made to do double work with lesser pay. Everything he did finally ended up in benefiting him and the pigs but not the other animals of the farm. Because Napoleon only cared about himself he could not become the greater leader on the farm. Snowball thought of all the animals as equal and helped the animals but Napoleon only corrupts the animals to get whatever he wanted. A narcissist style of leadership is never a good way to rule because sooner or later the people that the leader is ruling over will find out about his corrupt ways and kick the leader out of his ruling.

Overall Snowball was a better leader than Napoleon. Snowball showed lots of the attributes of a good leader. He was a good speaker and listener, fair, gave constructive criticism and was a role model to the other animals. On Sundays when the animals had their meetings Snowball would give great speeches and make proposals on ways to make the Animal Farm a better place. He declared notes to make sure everyone agreed and listened to other people’s opinions. However, Napoleon eventually decided to cancel all Sunday meetings and make his own decisions without discussing. If animals spoke up and disagreed they would most likely be slaughtered by Napoleons guard dogs. This is against all morals of good leadership. Snowball also educated the animals so that they could achieve more and teach their next generations. Snowball was a much better leader than Napoleon because he enforced education whereas Napoleon thought it was unnecessary. Education is the key to nearly everything and if the animals could read and write they would be able to help out more on the farm and they would get a better understanding of what is going on. They could read books on how to run a farm and on the world as well and write things to other animals or people.

The most important difference between these two animal leaders is not their behavior but their beliefs, Snowball believing in what could be described as 'Democratic Communism' and Napoleon following Dictatorship. This major difference between the ideas of these two pigs led to the abolishment and defaming of Snowball by Napoleon and his dogs. The time when Snowball was in 'Animal Farm' the animals saw prosperity and peace, because 'their leader' wanted to give the animals a better life than in that of Jones's time. But "Our Leader, comrade Napoleon"(pg. 69) cared for no one else but himself and power, he gave the lower rations to the animals than what they received when Jones was their master. Earlier the animals used to vote on issues but with the expulsion of Snowball their voting rights and also the meeting on Sunday's were abolished, their inspiration "Beasts of England" was forbidden, the animals were brought under slavery again without their knowledge.

The opposing leaders in Animal Farm Napoleon and Snowball were always contrary to each other and had nothing in common other than the fact that they were both good leaders. Snowball has some lead over Napoleon in the sense that he was a much better speaker than Napoleon was and he knew how to convince the animals. He was an altruistic leader who showed courage and gave moral support to the animals. For an example, when Boxer had injured a stable hand and everybody thought he was dead Snowball cheered them saying, "No sentimentality, comrade a war is war"(Orwell pg. 49). He really believed that all animals are equal and acted and worked for the comfort of his 'comrades', he was a hero.

Snowball is a careful and deliberate thinker and possesses a sharp intellect and talent for planning and design, the characteristics that Napoleon later takes advantage of. He is open to new ideas and not easily manipulated, again things that Napoleon cannot accept and reasons why he later drives him from the farm. His expertise is later seen as a threat by Napoleon who will continue to use him as a scapegoat after he drives him off the farm. Snowball has great ideas, he wants to unify and educate the animals. Snowball acts with great bravery and courage going into the Battle of Cowshed with great strategy and self-sacrifice. If we desire a society of peace, then we cannot achieve such a society through violence. If we desire a society without discrimination, then we must not discriminate against anyone in the process of building this society. If we desire a society that is democratic, then democracy must become a means as well as an end.